We are now just 2 days away from my second favourite day of the hockey season (other than opening night), the trade deadline. I used to work from home so I was able to be in ‘meetings’ for most of the day so I could catch all the wheeling and dealing. I now will have to rely on sneaky washroom breaks to take quick peeks at Twitter. There have already been some big trades with names like Jeff Carter, Jack Johnson and Marek Zidlicky changing locales. However, with Rick Nash still being in the mix, Monday could be spectacular. Today’s news that the Canucks have moved Keith Ballard to long term injury reserve indicates the Canucks will be players on Monday. Moving Ballard to LTIR frees up a $4.2 million chunk of cap space. This move has got Canucks fans on the edges of their seats drooling at a potential move…or two…or four.
The Wish List
The move of Ballard to LTIR also means the Canucks will be looking to add a veteran d-man. The top 2 pairings are set, but the final pairing is up for grabs with Aaron Rome, Andrew Alberts and Chris Tanev fighting for playing time. A team can never have enough defensive depth going into the playoffs especially a team that relies so heavily on an oft injured Sami Salo. Another obvious need is some depth and grit up front. The names that have been floated about are Steve Ott, Travis Moen, Daniel Winnik and Cody McLeod. I would love to see any of those 4 guys in a Canucks uniform, but Steve Ott would be the clear first choice. It won’t be easy to land Ott because there are a handful of teams vying for his services. A line with Ott, Lapierre and Hansen would be a nightmare for top scoring lines in the playoffs.
The Long Shot
The craziest scenario involves a package involving Cory Schneider plus others for a big fish like Rick Nash. I don’t envy Mike Gillis, he knows in his heart Schneider will leave at some point. If not now, then next year when he will be commanding top dollar. I am on the side of the fence that is for trading Schneider now rather than later. The team is at it’s peak and in my opinion this version of the team is even better than last year. The window to win will not be open forever. So why not go for the gusto and trade your #1 asset (who will not see much action in the playoffs anyway) to get the final piece(s) to win it all? The big counter argument to my opinion is what happens if Lu gets injured or blows chunks in the playoffs? Well that is true…that could happen, but how about what happens if the Canucks have trouble scoring even with Lu or Schneid’s standing on their head? Then people would be saying, damn, should have traded for Nash…he would have scored some goals. What I’m trying to say is anything can happen and you can’t have it all. However, what the Canucks can do is try and field the best team possible and in my opinion adding a Rick Nash would make the Canucks a ridiculous team. It will probably take Schneider plus 2 others like Raymond and Hodgson plus a draft pick. That is a steep price, but could you imagine Rick Nash with the Twins and a 2nd line of Kesler, Booth and Burrows?
Just two more sleeps…